Memorial Sloan Kettering Medical Oncologist Deb Schrag

Deb Schrag, MD, MPH

Medical Oncologist


Chair, Department of Medicine, George J. Bosl Chair at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Clinical Expertise

Gastrointestinal Oncology; Colon, Rectal, Anal Cancer


Contact and Location

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Memorial Sloan Kettering has locations throughout New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, and Westchester. These locations offer many services, including screening, chemotherapy, and medical testing.

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About Me


MPH, Harvard University School of Public Health; MD, Columbia University Medical School


Internal Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital


Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Board Certifications

Internal Medicine; Medical Oncology

I am a medical oncologist specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of gastrointestinal (GI) cancers with a particular emphasis on lower GI tract tumors, which include rectal, colon, and anal cancer. In the 20-plus years that I have cared for patients with these types of cancers, I have had the privilege to be a member of teams that have conducted foundational trials that have improved outcomes so that patients are living not only longer, but also better. Currently, I am the leader of a large national trial that seeks to streamline and personalize the way we treat patients with locally advanced rectal cancer. I am especially focused on optimizing care by collaborating with surgeons, radiologists, radiation oncologists, and pathologists to improve patient outcomes. I am inspired and motivated by the tremendous progress that has been made since the 1990s. Patients with advanced colorectal cancer are now able to survive with good quality of life for extended periods. This progress was achieved through intensive partnerships, team science, and including patients as partners in the design of research trials. My goal is to accelerate progress using this approach.

My training in medicine and medical oncology began at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and I launched my career at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as a member of the Gastrointestinal Oncology Service. From 2008 to 2021, I practiced medical oncology in the GI oncology group at Dana-Farber and was a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. In 2021, I returned to MSK to serve as Chair of the Department of Medicine. Although I dedicate considerable energy to leadership in academic medicine, caring for patients has always been my primary source of inspiration. I remain connected to my patients and their families across the country and am motivated by the journeys of those who succumbed to cancer and those who have been cured or are living with advanced cancer.

I am a strong proponent of making cancer care options transparent to patients by ensuring that they are equipped with all of the knowledge necessary to make informed choices at every step. I am the architect of systems to engage patients in reporting on how they feel and function during cancer treatment and of initiatives to make electronic health records and clinical trials open and accessible. My approach is to partner with my patients and their families to help them understand the array of treatment options and to develop a customized treatment plan that leverages the most up-to-date scientific knowledge. My research focuses on ensuring that the discoveries in the laboratory translate from research to reality to achieve maximum benefit and public health impact. I am a firm believer that by enhancing the way that care is delivered, we can achieve better outcomes for more patients.

Awards and Honors

  • Castle Connolly: America's Top Doctors (2023)
  • Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (2013)
  • Member of the National Cancer Policy Forum
  • Associate Editor, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
  • Boston Magazine: Top Doctors (2016-2021)
  • Exceptional Women in Medicine (2019-2020)
  • Association of American Physicians (AAP): Elected member (2016)
  • Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology: Richard L. Schilsky Achievement Award (2016)
  • Castle Connolly: Regional Top Doctor (2013-present)


Doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering work as teams, with specialists from all different areas. This allows us to consider all your needs together, and to give you the best possible care.

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Clinical Trials

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Find a Clinical Trial for You

Memorial Sloan Kettering's doctors and scientists are constantly developing new treatments for cancer. MSK is typically running hundreds of clinical trials at a given time.

You may be able to participate in a clinical trial even if you are new to MSK. Search our online directory to find trial information and see more about who can participate.

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Research and Publications

Publications on PubMed

Visit PubMed for a full listing of Dr. Schrag’s journal articles. Pubmed is an online index of research papers and other articles from the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

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Doctors and faculty members often work with pharmaceutical, device, biotechnology, and life sciences companies, and other organizations outside of MSK, to find safe and effective cancer treatments, to improve patient care, and to educate the health care community.

MSK requires doctors and faculty members to report (“disclose”) the relationships and financial interests they have with external entities. As a commitment to transparency with our community, we make that information available to the public.

Deb Schrag discloses the following relationships and financial interests:

  • Dana Farber
    Intellectual Property Rights; Provision of Services (uncompensated)
  • Grail
    Provision of Services (uncompensated)
  • Journal of the American Medical Association
    Provision of Services
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Provision of Services

If you’re a patient at MSK and would like more information about your doctor’s external relationships, please talk with your doctor.

The information published here is for a specific annual disclosure period. There may be differences between information on this and other public sites as a result of different reporting periods and/or the various ways relationships and financial interests are categorized by organizations that publish such data.

This page and data include information for a specific MSK annual disclosure period (January 1, 2021 through disclosure submission in spring 2022). This data reflects interests that may or may not still exist. This data is updated annually.

Learn more about MSK’s COI policies here. For questions regarding MSK’s COI-related policies and procedures, email MSK’s Compliance Office at [email protected].

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